A 26-year-old correctional officer with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office who admitted to receiving oral sex from an inmate was fired in June after an internal investigation into his behavior.
Around 1 a.m. on April 13, Deputy Wayne Lawson was supervising three female inmates when he and one of the inmates entered the men’s locker room to pick up trash. Inside the locker room, the inmate, whose name isn’t being released due to the sexual nature of the case, performed oral sex on Lawson.
Both Lawson and the female inmate admitted to the sexual encounter, but disagree about who initiated the act.
The incident came to light on April 16, when the inmate reported it to authorities, the Sheriff’s Office said.
In an polygraph interview April 17, Lawson initially told investigators the three inmates were engaged in horseplay and were making improper comments. One of the inmates, he said, asked if she could perform oral sex on him because it had been awhile since she’d “been with somebody.”
Lawson initially told the investigator that at one point the inmate had attempted to grab his genitals, but denied that she had performed a sex act on him. The polygraph revealed that Lawson was being deceptive during the interview.
In a follow-up interview the next day, Lawson admitted to receiving oral sex from the inmate. Lawson said the inmate asked him what would happen if she performed oral sex on him. He said he didn’t respond, the investigation revealed.
That’s when the inmate approached him, Lawson said.
“I did not step back. I didn’t say anything,” Lawson said. “She unzipped my pants and started performing oral sex. Uh, approximately, not even two, three seconds. I stepped back and said, ‘We can’t do this,’ and I had her ... or, we left.”
Lawson said the inmate had made suggestive comments earlier in the night, the investigation revealed.
“Uh, she did make several statements about, you know, um, I’m really good, uh, I know how to please men,” Lawson told an investigator.
The inmate said it was Lawson who was making suggestive comments and who initiated the sex act. Lawson, she said, had mentioned to the three inmates that there were no cameras in the locker room, and made a sexually suggestive remarks.
The inmate told investigators that after she entered the locker room with Lawson, she went to get the garbage and he pulled down his pants.
“I didn’t know what to do,” the inmate told investigators. “I was freaked out, ‘cause I couldn’t believe it was happening.”
Lawson and the inmate were in the locker room for less than two minutes, and left after they heard a door close in a nearby break room.
Lawson was arrested on April 18, and charged with sexual misconduct with an inmate, a third-degree felony. Sheriff’s Office records show that in mid-June Lawson was fired for immoral, unlawful or improper conduct and committing a felony involving moral turpitude.
Lawson, who had been employed as a correctional officer since 2004 and earned $43,060 a year, declined an appeal.
Under Florida law, records of the internal investigation just recently were made public after the time for an appeal expired.